All our stories belong to all Australians. All our stories should have equal value. That's why these three plays by South Asian diaspora playwrights Sonal Moore, Kevin Bathman and Roanna Gonsalves are so precious, and resonated with me.
A mish-mash of talents, from the awesomely indefatigable George Gittoes, the infectiously confident spoken word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, to the vibrantly charming Malaysian dissident cartoonist Zunar were some of this year’s line up of storytellers at the Carnival of the Bold 2016 (June 6, 2016).
The most encouraging aspect of the conference was that diversity was a reality and a given, not an ideal or a promise. I was among Asian Australians of many colours and ages sharing ideas about the meaning of diaspora, hybridity, diversity and faith, transnationalism, mobilities, gender, art.
I’ve read Japanese-Australian history, important works by historians Yuriko Nagata or Neville Meaney. But Mayu’s Yasukichi was my first encounter with a real person who was one of the early Japanese settlers, albeit dead now, but his ghost appears in the show. It made history personally relevant.